Silver Spike

Case Film

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CategoryB02. Public Affairs & Lobbying

The Campaign

The campaign is built on a powerful local insight associated with transgender people specifically in the subcontinent: the transgender clap. This unique form of clapping, in which one spread-out hand is struck against the other palm to palm, is used frequently to degrade, mock and insult the transgender community. The idea was to challenge a transphobic mind-set in the country by using the same hands – and transform the clapping action from one of ridicule to one of applause, respect and inclusion. Transgender people in accomplished roles such as Pakistan’s first transgender model Kami Sid, asked people to #ChangeTheClap. From clapping AT transgender people to clapping FOR them, the campaign depicted how a simple shift in a gesture was powerful enough to transform entire mindsets. This was a change that was instrumental to empowering the community and giving them an equal standing in society.


An online film was launched on International Human Rights Day highlighting the need for a shift in mind-set. For the first time ever, instead of being reduced to lesser humans, accomplished transgender persons like Kami Sid and Neeli Rana were featured in high-achieving roles. The film concluded with a simple call to action: #ChangeTheClap. People from 26 countries joined the movement, changing their clap from one of ridicule to one of applause. The world’s first transgender bot was also launched to clear misconceptions about transgender persons. On-ground, posters were put up in public spaces and universities inviting people to #ChangeTheClap and a children’s book was distributed to create a shift in mind-set at an early age. The message was so powerful that it resulted into a movement as people across Pakistan raised their ‘claps’ on the issue leading up to the first of its kind, the world’s first clapping protest.

The campaign went viral in the subcontinent, spreading to 26 different countries. With $0 media budget, we generated over half a billion impressions, 3 million organic film views, and over 20K shares. The campaign became the catalyst for a societal movement in Pakistan - including "clapping" protests on streets - which led the country's National Assembly to approve the Transgender Person Rights Bill, giving transgender people equal legal protection (i). HuffPost called it “not only unprecedented in Pakistani history, but one of the most progressive laws in the world.”  #ChangeTheClap helped transform culture: Pakistan now has its first celebrated transgender newscaster (ii). Most impactful of all, for the first time in Pakistan, the Centre for Islamic Ideology has now classified ridicule against transgender people as un-Islamic (iii) 

The Situation

In a first-of-its kind, an integrated campaign for transgender rights changed ridicule into applause for transgender people with a simple shift in gesture. Starting with an online film delivering a powerful message to #ChangeTheClap of mockery to a clap of applause using the same hands, set in motion a movement that became the catalyst for societal change. UGC from different countries poured in with people posting videos in support of the campaign. Aside from press, posters, PR, and social media, the world's first trans-bot was also launched to directly interact with people and discuss popular misconceptions about transgender persons.

The Strategy

The strategy was to target the masses who only perceive transgender people in reduced roles, such as beggars or prostitutes, and routinely justify an established behavior to mock the transgender community. Leveraging the power of social and digital media to drive social change, from a disruptive online film and the world's first transgender chat-bot, to offline channels such as posters and children's books, the campaign was designed to grow in scale into a movement on ground. Urging a simple change in gesture which - instead of mocking transgender people - highlighted and celebrated their accomplished roles, the campaign started a conversation which reached policymakers in government. This was the first time in Pakistan that real transgender people were shown in prominent-high achieving capacities instead of being restricted by how the society views them in weaker roles.


Name Company Position
Jamayal Tanweer BBDO Pakistan Business Director
Moiz Khan BBDO Pakistan Associate Creative Director
Aamir Allibhoy BBDO Pakistan Regional GM
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Executive Creative Director
Idrees Hussain BBDO Pakistan Account Director
Gulandam Shireen BBDO Pakistan Account Manager
Faryal Ali BBDO Pakistan Creative Manager
Alize Munir BBDO Pakistan Social Manager
Shahzaib Hussain BBDO Pakistan Senior Art Director
Ahmed Zafar BBDO Pakistan Graphic Designer
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Strategic Planning Director
Hira Mohibullah BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Aneera Fareed BBDO Pakistan Community Manager
Hamza Amjad BBDO Pakistan Creative Manager
Haroon Rashid BBDO Pakistan Head of Design
Haseeb Akram BBDO Pakistan Art Director
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
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